There is nothing better than growing up on a farm. We grew up on a farm, not a ranch. We milked cows for most of my growing up years and had horses. We always had horses. We did 4-H horse shows, competed in local rodeos, and rode with my dad to move cattle. We had fifteen to twenty horses all the time, and most Sundays, we would ride to my Grandma’s. My dad was a horse-trader. He would buy Shetland ponies and have us kids ride them, and then he would sell them. There was hardly a day we weren’t riding. Back then, not like today, we didn’t train horses, we rode them. Dad would say, do this do that, and we would do it. I wish we would have paid more attention to what he said.
Two of my older brothers were off doing their own thing. There was ten years difference between my oldest brother and me. One older brother, myself, my sister, and one younger brother grew up together, and there were very different roles for boys and girls. Huge difference. My sister and I didn’t get to do the “manly” things, like driving the tractor, swathing, and combining. We had to shovel the grain inside the bin, and my brothers got to dump it. My sister and I had to stack hay, milk cows and all kinds of outdoor chores and then still cook and do dishes. But, we never thought it an abnormal life. We never considered it work; it was just our everyday life.
My two sons got to experience some of it because my parents still lived on the farm. My younger brother has the farm today.
I would never give up my childhood. We worked hard but we also had lots of fun.
When I graduated, I went to work for a veterinarian. Working for him, I stayed attached to my roots. After twenty years he went out of business, and I had to reevaluate my life.
Looking back, I got married, had two kids, divorced, remarried, and started a new career. All the time, I was still riding horses. There were aways horses in-between. Horses have always been a part of my life and will always be.
Today, my joy comes from riding mules which my husband and father-in-law introduced me to and loving my first grand-baby.
I’m so fortunate that my sister and I still get to ride together quite a bit. We are best friends and always have been. Many times when we ride together we say Dad would be so proud of us that we get to do something that we so enjoyed with our Dad. My Dad a stoic German was an alcoholic. When I was six or so he went for treatment, We were fortunate to get to grow up with the sober Dad. My two older brothers didn’t get to know the dad that we did.
When I was divorced and decided to try dating again, I was attracted to my current husband’s online profile because his pictures showed him on a horse.
I’m not sure I would go back and live on a farm, it is so much work. It is unbelievable how much there is to do on a farm. I have friends who still live on a farm, and they work so hard.
Now, I board my horses and don’t have all the responsibility, and I help friends work and move cattle for the fun of it.
Looking back growing up on a farm, it’s the good times and the laughter I remember, not all the work.
“I went from childhood to motherhood to Laura-hood—fun-hood.”
Dr J’s Comments
When Laura said she has moved into fun-hood, she was serious. She laughs, has a great attitude, and enjoys all of life. She sparkles. As she spoke, there was no doubt she treasured growing up on a farm.